Planning a Fun and Patriotic Fourth of July Pool Party

nine layer flag cake

This post is sponsored by Kayak Pools Midwest. Now that summer’s finally here and we’re all enjoying the warm weather and sunshine, it’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate the Fourth of July. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, throwing a pool party is a time-honored American tradition sure to offer tons of fun for you and your guests. The good news is, a Fourth of July pool party has a built-in theme: Incorporate the red, white and blue into every aspect of the party you can think of—your invitations, menu and decorations are great places to start. As long as you stick with those patriotic colors, you can’t go wrong! Here are a few ideas to help you get the party started. … [Read more...]

Earn Money Searching with Qmee!

Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Qmee! Who doesn't love a little extra cash? Whether it's for that Starbucks run or popcorn at the movies, those little luxuries make like a lot more awesome. And Qmee wants to give you the money for them! Qmee is a free search-loyalty, cash-reward browser app installed easily into any major browser that rewards you with actual cash micropayments, for clicking on results you otherwise would click for no reward. Essentially anytime you do a search using a browser such as Google or Yahoo, if Qmee has relevant results to your search, the app pulls up these results and they will appear on your screen in addition to the results you would normally see. Each click on a Qmee search result that matches what you’re looking for will earn you between 4 and 14 cents typically and the payments are made in actual currency to your PayPal account. A typical user will collect about $5 per month. That’s $60 of free money per year just for doing what you … [Read more...]

The Big Woot Baby Shower

Woot Kids Feeding Items

I have to confess before I was asked to do this sponsored post on the awesome baby deals at Woot, I had no idea that they were even selling kids stuff, much less had a whole Kids.Woot! site. High five parent friends! Because even if my own parent shopping has slowed down, my friends insist on spawning. Besides the low, low prices the best thing about Kids.Woot! is that it's a subsidiary of Amazon. So when you’re subscribing to Woot you can simply use your Amazon login information and your info (shipping address, credit card info, etc) transfers to Woot. Plus now is the time to pick up some amazing deals your darlings for all those friends who insist on propagating at the Kids.Woot! baby shower event. You will find fabulous deals through the 13th! The items include everything from cloth diapers to drying racks from awesome brands like Boon, Munchkin, Bright Labs, and more. They gave me a sneak peak at some of the deals and my favorites are below! … [Read more...]

Welcome Summer

By the way, this post is in partnership with U.S. Cellular! Even though school ended last Wednesday, I consider this our official welcome to summer week! We're starting it off with a bang tomorrow night with a sleepover at the St. Louis Zoo. We're going to be sleeping under the sea lion tunnel. How cool is that? Then we're off into the whirlwind of summer. I know it's supposed to be all about lazy days, and I am sure we will have plenty of those, but there's so much that we want to do that a little planning definitely has to be part of it if we want to fit everything in. I want to use tech so we can use #BetterMoments all year long. When we use them right, devices can help simplify and enhance summer so we can spend more time doing the things we love, like spending time with family and friends or relaxing at the pool. That's where technology becomes a lifesaver. I have added a few apps to the girls' iPhone5 to so they can follow along with our plans. I find summer a great time … [Read more...]

The Perfect Swimsuit Wardobe

div style="width:600px;margin:0 auto">Swimsuit Wardrobe by guavalicious featuring a black bathing suitOrlebar Brown rash guard swimwearnet-a-porter.comPolo Ralph Lauren black bathing suit$140 - houseoffraser.co.ukHalter swimsuitchoies.comBlack white hat$60 - black.co.uk Now I know what you are thinking... swimsuit buying is hell and now I want you to buy more than one? But stay with me here. Building up a swimsuit wardrobe is essential to enjoying actually being in a swimsuit. When you feel good and confident in a suit, you will actually WANT to go to the pool. And even get in the water. Here's how to get that confidence! … [Read more...]

Summer Reading Programs for Kids 2015

SummerReading

Woohoo! It's the last day of school today! As soon as the girls get home we will sit down and make up our summer bucket list. Sure to be at the top: summer reading programs! My girls already love to read but the programs below make it extra fun for them. In addition to the ones I mentioned, don't forget to check out your local library. Ours does a fantastic program every year that includes activities as well as reading goals. Summer reading programs for 2015! … [Read more...]

Summer Lunch in a Snap

Summer vacation is so close that I can taste it! The girls only have a day and a half left of school so the weekend has been full of getting ready. Even though they go to summer school (free here for the month of June, almost all the kids go, it's great!) we still like to reset to a slower pace. Everything is just a little more relaxed around here. But kids still have to eat. So I like to keep on hand a few key ingredients for super fast, super fun, and of course super easy summer lunches. The bonus with this one is that there are almost no dishes. All it takes is two things... Fritos and Hormel chili! … [Read more...]

Little Lotus Giveaway

littleLotus_04022015-6171

Though I rarely do giveaways anymore, today I wanted to share a giveaway from Little Lotus. Swaddling and sleep blankets were a lifesaver for us when the Terror Twins were teeny. And this line is so cool. Inspired by the Embrace Infant Warmer, which has helped more than 150,000 babies worldwide, Little Lotus swaddles, sleep sacks & blankets use proprietary technology inspired by NASA spacesuits to keep babies at an ideal temperature so they can rest more comfortably. For every product sold, a baby in need will be helped by the Embrace warmer, as way to extend a 'warm embrace' to less fortunate moms and babies all over the world. I adore companies who have a commitment to giving back! The signature print of the Little Lotus products was inspired by Touch Our Future, and features the hand tracings of mothers and babies helped by the Embrace warmers. Touch Our Future is an art installation by renowned artist, Drue Kataoka in collaboration with Embrace Innovations, … [Read more...]

How to Build a Dinotastic Terrarium

We spend a lot of summer afternoons inside avoiding the sun (my kids burn in a snap.) So I am always looking for fun ideas to keep them occupied. We got into building fairy gardens outside awhile back but they just aren't as fun inside. So our Summer favorite is building terrariums. They are perfect for long afternoons and if you do them properly, easy to maintain and change out. This dinosaur version is a favorite of ours. Your kiddo will love tackling this project inspired by Katie Elzer Peters's book Miniature Gardens. I have modified this one to be "faux" because who wants to worry about taking care of plants on lazy Summer days? … [Read more...]

Meet Huckleberry!

Meet Huckleberry the Dog

It's been a crazy few weeks around here due to some medical issues and trips out of town but you know what makes everything feel a little more calm and happy? Puppy hugs. Our beloved Peanut Butter passed away the first week in April and since then we have been looking for the perfect dog to adopt. We were basically stalking the Humane Society. Which paid off when a worker snuck us a peek at this ewok ball of fur before he was officially up for adoption. The day he was up, I rushed over there with my friend K who spent years working in shelters and knew how to scope out a dog in a few minutes. With her stamp of approval and lots of additional hugs from the girls later on, we signed the papers and he was ours. Immediately, he is an integral part of our life. Dogs just bring so much joy to life don't they? We got him at the perfect time because this weekend is Nat Geo WILD’s inaugural BARKFEST, a full weekend of programming that celebrates man’s best friend. Check below for the … [Read more...]